Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: Burr stands up for transparency

Posted June 8

Thursday, June 8, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on Sen. Richard Burr's leading role in Congress' Russia investigation, Gov. Roy Cooper's call for new N.C. election maps, an unusual General Assembly move on renewable energy and more.

Burr’s good stand (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Today will be a big one on Capitol Hill, with former FBI Director Jim Comey testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his conversations with President Trump concerning the investigation of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.

JEFF TIBERII: Cooper Presses Lawmakers To Redraw Maps Now (WUNC-FM column) – Gov. Roy Cooper is calling state lawmakers into a special session to redraw election maps. The unexpected announcement comes with the political boundaries having been struck down in the courts as illegal racial gerrymanders.

A matter of security (Greensboro News & Record) -- All Americans should be alarmed by this week’s reports about Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election — and by much more.

LAURA LESLIE: Solar changes bill breeze through NC House (WRAL TechWire column) -- A proposal to rewrite the state's renewable energy laws breezed through the House Wednesday with strong support and little debate - an unusual development in a chamber more often known for attempts to limit the solar industry.

WILL MICHAELS: Lawmakers Propose Overhaul To NC Solar Energy Regulations (WUNC-FM column) -- State lawmakers are quickly advancing a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's regulations on solar energy production. It's a wide-ranging measure that's getting rare support from both utilities like Duke Energy and renewable energy advocates. Sponsors of the bill say it's the product of nearly a year's worth of negotiations between the two.

JENNIFER ALLEN: New Seismic Permitting Process Begins (Coastal Review column) -- Federal officials this week took steps toward approving permits for seismic exploration for oil and natural gas off the East Coast, as opponents warn of its threats to the coastal environment

STEPHANIE CARSON: Howling Mad? Groups Fight for Protection of NC Red Wolf (Public News Service column) -- The Red Wolf Recovery Program has been in operation for more than 30 years, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken steps in recent years to scale it back, announcing a 60 day public comment period in May. While the current red wolf population is contained to five counties in eastern North Carolina, Kim Wheeler, executive director with the Red Wolf Coalition, said the decision has historical significance.

RICK SMITH: Health sciences contribute $3.7B to NC economy (WRAL TechWire column) -- As the General Assembly mulls possible cuts to the N.C. Biotechnology Center's budget, a new report from RTI International finds that global health-related work contributed $3.7 billion to the state's economy. Plus: Read the report's abstract.

ALINA TUGEND: Colleges Get Proactive in Addressing Depression on Campus (New York Times column) -- “The fact that students are struggling with anxiety and depression is real,” said Thomas C. Shandley, dean of students for Davidson College in North Carolina. “It took a while to reach college campuses, and now it’s here.”

Lumbee recognition gaining momentum (Kinston Free Press) -- This is encouraging: We’re seeing more stars align for the Lumbee tribe’s recognition efforts this year than we’ve ever seen in the past. The latest development came as Gov. Roy Cooper visited Robeson County last week to speak at the tribe’s second annual Lumbee Nation Economic Summit at UNC-Pembroke.

CAROL CANNON: Get 'Raise the age' right (Greenville Daily Reflector column) -- North Carolina is the last state in the country that automatically prosecutes both 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, no matter how minor the offense. The evidence is overwhelming that this leads to worse outcomes, makes our communities less safe, and costs taxpayers more.

IAN JEFFERIES: Infrastructure better with freight rail (Fayetteville Observer column) -- “The strength of North Carolina’s highway infrastructure is critical to moving our economy forward,” North Carolina U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said in September 2016 in announcing legislation co-authored by Sen. Thom Tillis, also of North Carolina. “Interstate highway connectivity is essential for connecting citizens and communities, moving goods to market, and supporting and creating jobs.


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